Text and Photos: Bobby Cochran
The flat, windswept grounds of Salt Lake City’s Utah State Fairpark hosted an eclectic and diverse two-day music festival, CrucialFest, boasting an impressive collection of well known names in heavy music, plus a plethora of local and regional bands spanning genres from Hip Hop to EDM to Pop Punk to Stoner Metal. Previous years saw the Fest happening at multiple smaller venues in the downtown SLC area, but this year they upped the ante with three stages (two indoor and the big outdoor stage) in one big arena.
Day one featured a stacked lineup of up-and-comers from all over the country, including Tamerlane, Sunchaser, Royal Thunder, Street Sects and Dance With the Dead, as well as UK trash-rock phenomenon Slaves and main stage heavy hitters Russian Circles and Chelsea Wolfe. There were after hours shows until way past 1 AM, including a drag show rumored to have been pretty freaky.
Day two saw a massive number of amazing performances, including SLC upstarts Cult Leader, Dalek, EXES, Mutoid Man, Philly Hip Hop mob The Shredders and heavy music granddaddies Pig Destroyer and Neurosis.
With booths of local food, music, beer and all sorts of clothing and crafts, the Fest clearly put as much effort into supporting local artists and creators as it did pulling in the big name acts.